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Does Rap Music Contribute to Violent Crime? (From Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Crime and Criminology, Fifth Edition, P 16-29, 1998, Richard C. Monk, ed. -- See NCJ-183062)

NCJ Number
Dennis R. Martin; Mark S. Hamm; Jeff Ferrell
Richard C. Monk
Date Published
14 pages
The president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police (NACP) believes that rising racial tensions and violence can be attributed to rap music's promotion of deviant and sociopathic behaviors, while two criminologists reject this analysis of the relationship between music and charge the analysis is based on racism and ignorance of both music and broader cultural forces.
The NACP president provides many examples throughout history of how music has been linked with violence. He also discusses the marketing of some "gangsta" rap albums, which he claims, generate hostility toward police officers and others because of their lyrics and strident sounds. The criminologists dismiss the NACP president's linking of rap music and violence as bad sociology, bad history, and worse criminology. They attack the historical analysis of current music as being racist because the NACP president does not mention the positive contributions of black musicians. The criminologists also maintain that rap musicians do little more than "tell it like it is" in inner cities. It is pointed out that all three individuals fail to mention the 20th century as relatively unique in that much of the popular music sharply divides generations and that both sides of the rap music issue are highly selective in their sensitivities.


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